22 October 2016
Tic Tac Minions and McDonald’s Nanoblock sets are the latest targets of people trying to make a fast buck in Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ
Tic Tac Minions and McDonald’s Nanoblock sets are the latest targets of people trying to make a fast buck in Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ

What’s common between Tic Tac Minions & McDonald’s Nanoblocks?

From properties to iPhones, Hong Kong people love to make a quick buck off anything in short supply.

Right now, the flippers have some new, albeit much smaller, targets: Tic Tac Minions and McDonald’s Nanoblock sets.

Tic Tac Minions is a new product rolled out by the Tic Tac candy brand from the Italian confectionery giant Ferrero. The yellow cylinder-shaped “Minions” represent the characters in the Hollywood animation movie series “Despicable Me”.

In the movies, the Minions communicate in their unique language, and sing songs in a funny way. This has created a huge fan following which Tic Tac and Universal Studios are trying to cash in on.

The Tic Tac products, which are basically artificially flavored fruit mints, have Minions’ faces printed on each tiny candy inside a small box.

However, the candy box has been launched in limited edition, and is only available in select countries such as United States and Australia. Hong Kong is not on the list.

This has provided an opportunity for Hongkongers traveling or studying overseas to earn some easy money.

It is reported that they are buying the Tic Tac Minions in bulk and reselling them via Instagram and Facebook.

A small Tic Tac Minions box is priced at around US$1.1, or HK$8.6, officially.

But in an Instagram store named moodybud, they are now being offered at HK$28 a box, and HK$70 for a set of three.

Though costing much higher than the original price, the resold Minions are finding many takers in Hong Kong. It is said that some offers go as high as HK$40 in some online stores, according to the chatter on Golden Forum, a popular Internet forum in the city.

Due to huge buying by resellers, it is reported that many locals in Australia find it impossible to buy the Tic Tac Minions in their supermarkets.

Now, apart from the Minions, there is another thing that it is drawing huge speculative interest — Nanoblock promotional sets being offered by McDonald’s Corp.

Nanoblocks are Lego-like construction toys manufactured by Japanese toy manufacturer Kawada.

While Lego is still easily the world’s most popular building toy, Nanoblocks have gained a huge fan base over the past few years.

This has prompted McDonald’s to team up Kawada for a collection of custom food-themed sets that will be offered at its restaurants.

On Thursday, McDonald’s launched a series of Nanoblocks exclusively for Hong Kong customers. The items were nearly sold out within one day.

There are six toy blocks items: Big Mac, fries, milkshake, apple pie, McFlurry and a tiny McDonald’s restaurant — all built using the novelty toy blocks. Customers who purchase any food item from the fast-food chain can get a Nanoblock toy set for HK$20.

Long queues were seen many McDonald’s outlets after the promotional campaign began. Some people were said to have queued up in the night to make sure they could get the Nanoblocks first thing in the morning.

Those who managed to get their hands on the coveted items couldn’t wait to share their joy through Facebook and other social media. Some are already reselling them for profit.

A full set is being offered for HK$500, representing a huge premium over the original price.

While most locals have got used to the flipping culture, critics are questioning the latest practices.

People should devote their energies to doing something more productive or innovative, rather than chase silly fads, they say.

Well, what can we say? To each his own!

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EJ Insight writer

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